Lib Dems of football

A brief taste of the power that comes with a place at the top table; a collapse of confidence throughout the natural support base; recent glimmers of hope of a revival, or maybe even a new dawn; only for the gloom to descend as familiar failings re-emerge…

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Am I talking about the recent travails of the Liberal Democrat Party, as they pick themselves up from an electoral pasting in 2015 with flickers of hope in a recent by-election? Or am I talking about a Cardiff City FC team having fallen from a brief sojourn in the Premier League, to recently occupying the bottom position of the Championship, only for a new messiah to raise that thing called ‘hope’ with a couple of wins and a draw?

right-hookCardiff City 0 Wigan Athletic 1 is the kind of unwanted result that brings a sharpened perspective to those who wallow in a land called hope. Juno offers a right hook as a wake-up call; and Rich Hall recently reminded us that “hope lies somewhere between wishful thinking and performing a rain dance.”

Until we speak again I guess I had better get dancing!

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A coming together of protagonists for a staged event lasting 90 minutes, whereby the two opposing forces seem loved by the few and disliked by the many. Blows are traded, almost like handbags at five paces, until one or other side lands a decisive strike (or two). But ‘decisive’ is meaningless, as the competition on show is but a small part of the overall contest, to be decided at a date already determined for the conclusion of the campaign.

Immigration is not an issue for the two sides that have nothing but open arms (though limited economies) for the influx of outside talent; and there certainly were no walls being built by the home defence! I don’t know how many Hilary’s or Donald’s were on show, but there was a grim consistency in the message for the home believers, as Derby County just edged the bottom of the table duel at Cardiff City 0-2.

A poignant message could be viewed on the big screen… a lament for the cancellation of the home team’s Goal of the Month Competition; owing to the fact that the home team didn’t score any goals at their home venue throughout the month of September!

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right-hook

 

Until we speak again Juno would have had no gender bias I’m sure, but her wishes for Hilary would be ‘deliver a knock out blow’!

Wales Euro Stars!

Ready to eatCats all over Wales have had a month of excited bewilderment, as the focus of the nation’s passion for sport took a seismic shift from rugby to football. We could be forgiven for thinking after a 58-year wait, that turning up to make up the numbers was a great achievement. But this is Wales, a land with a passion for the spectacular.

Apart from Gareth Bale, who would have thought in the heady days of early June that we would go further than the former World Champions and current European Champions, Spain; and then equal the current World Champions, Germany? Along the way we managed to send home the hosts of the next World Cup, Russia; and magnificently dispatch the so-called World’s second ranked team, Belgium! We might have scrapped a win against Northern Ireland, and lets just forgive and forget the generosity we offered England (while thanking Iceland for the non-Wales highlight of the whole tournament). All great stories need to come to an end, and for us Portugal in the semi-finals is recognised as the game too far.

The City of Cardiff decorated itself with banners and flags to raise expectations…

Welsh football [2]

Brewery Quarter banner

St Mary Street waits

Then there was the reminder that we had a little matter of group games to negotiate…

Welsh football [1]

But fairy tales happen (not just shit, then); and they often begin with some kind of castle in the picture…

Castle [1]

… and just a few adoring fans lurking in wait for a glimpse of the heroes of the story…

Castle [2]

And who would have thought that over-paid young football players would forgo the expensive cars to travel anywhere on a bus?

On the bus [1]

On the bus [2]

On the bus [3]

On the bus [4]

This was a one-way ticket to adoration, destination Cardiff City Stadium, and a rousing rendition of the Manic Street Preachers Welsh football anthem. And this was a squad that didn’t win the competition! But, perhaps the salutary lesson of the great homecoming was a sign that even Solicitors have a heart… occasionally!

Solicitor

Until we speak again the great new footballing super power will be recuperating in time to stride towards the even bigger stage of the 2018 World Cup. Look out world, we are coming.

[With acknowledgement to BBC Wales for some of the images used in this post].

[Football explained, or not!] Z is for…

ZANY…

Watching Cardiff City FC over the last 9 months is nicely summed up in the following quote: “Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller-skates; you’re guaranteed movement, you just don’t know if it is going to be forwards, backwards or sideways.” [H. Jackson Brown Jr.].

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But Z is also for ZEITGEIST… and the spirit of the local fans and the team has been repeatedly summed up in a phrase that means little to anyone else not in the know…

Do the Ayatollah [2]

As another season comes to a close it becomes abundantly clear that Z is for ZILCH… on too many recent occasions team members have embodied an oft used cliche as a season draws to a close… their ZONKED demeanour suggests they are already on the beach.

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So, finally Z is for ZUGZWANG… i.e. nothing of any advantage emerges from the last few displays, as the team occupy firstly the uncoverted 7th position, the highest of the meaningless places; but then contrive to slip even further with a final draw in a game they shouldn’t be drawing.

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For the record the final score was Cardiff City 1 Birmingham City 1, with the home team finishing the season in 8th position with 17 wins, 17 draws, and 12 defeats. Until the next season of hope and despair (with Juno and Bella’s successor taking on the role of managing me), why not spend the summer sharpening your ZZ TOP impersonations, listen to your ZOMBIES back catalogue, or simply catch up on some relaxing ZZZ’s.

[Football explained, or not!] V is for…

VAINGLORIOUS… as VALIANT VALUATION is VICARIOUSLY VISITED upon VAGABOND VULTURES.

Close up image of business person holding shining key

However, V is also for VERISIMILITUDE… as VOCIFEROUS VISIONARIES offer VAUDEVILLIAN VERNACULAR towards VAPID VISITORS…

City v Derby [1]

Then there is the V for VORACIOUS… as VIBRANT VIRTUOSO Bluebirds aim to devour VIRULENTLY VEXATIOUS Rams in VANQUISHED VOLATILITY

Not supposed to happen

But the final whistle means V is for VAMOOSE… as VENOMOUS VERBOSITY intermingles with VERITABLE VENERATION and more than a hint of VALEDICTORY VULNERABILITY…

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Watching somethingUntil we speak again this Bella remains VEHEMENTLY VIVACIOUS… For the record it was Cardiff City 2 Derby County 1, with the locals having played 39, won 16, drawn 14, and lost 9, which puts them currently 7th in the league.City v Derby [3]